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Wheel Bearing Woes


Disco_Dunk
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Well, I finished fitting a new rear floor to my 300tdi Disco, the weekend before last (pig of a job in the heat)........ drove it to work (10mins), then driving it back again (about 5 mins) and I have one of those 'brown trouser moments' as my front near-side wheel-bearing lets go along a dual carriageway at about 70mph...... no warning, just a sudden swerve from one lane to the other - fortunately the road was quiet!!!

FIFTEEN MINUTES before something else broke. FIFTEEN FREAKIN' MINUTES!!! :angry:

Anyway....... started stripping the hub on saturday (to the wife's sarcastic comments about spending ANOTHER weekend working on the thing)........ only to find that the bearing's dry as a bone - not a hint of grease anywhere, and the inner race on the outer bearing has welded itself to the stub axle, so I can't get it, or the hub, off.

Anyone got any 'silver bullet' solutions to this problem? I've tried winding up my biggest hub puller to the point where it's getting scary, and even left it like that overnight, but no joy. I tried applying a bit of heat with my blow-lamp, but it ran out of gas :huh: I tried cracking the bearing race with a chisel, but just managed to blunt the chisel (cos the race is hardened steel)......... I'm starting to run out of ideas.

Is a blow-lamp going to have enough 'oomph' or do I need to find a friendly oxy-acetaline owner?

The only thing I can think of now is to remove the whole hub/brake-disk/swivel-housing and take it to a garage (or the tip!)....... but binning the whole assembly is gonna be costly.

Desperately,

Dunk

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tricky, good old angle grinder isn't gonna get in there and you can't get in to undo the stub axle either.

You might try drilling the race a bunch of times. it may well then break up, you could even drill the stub axle I guess.

It does sound like the whole hub assembly is going to have to come off so you can get the driveshaft out of the way in any case.

Once off you might be able to abuse the stub axle and free the race.

Might be a cost vs time thing.

Final suggestion, if you can move the race about 1cm off you could probably get a hacksaw down the back and cut the stub axle off?

Or take to hub assembly with hub to a garage for some tender loving care from an oxy kit?

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I'd thought about trying to drill it, but I reckon I'll just end up with a load of blunt/broken drill bits to go with my blunt chisel!!! :(

tricky, good old angle grinder isn't gonna get in there and you can't get in to undo the stub axle either.

You might try drilling the race a bunch of times. it may well then break up, you could even drill the stub axle I guess.

It does sound like the whole hub assembly is going to have to come off so you can get the driveshaft out of the way in any case.

Once off you might be able to abuse the stub axle and free the race.

Might be a cost vs time thing.

Final suggestion, if you can move the race about 1cm off you could probably get a hacksaw down the back and cut the stub axle off?

Or take to hub assembly with hub to a garage for some tender loving care from an oxy kit?

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A couple of good sharp tugs on the hub should dislodge the oil seal in the back of the hub. The bearing is bigger than the seal, thats why the hub appears to be stuck.

Once you have the hub off you will be able to get at the bearing with a grinder. Flatten it off as much as you can and as close as you can to the stub axle (without touching the stub axle!!!) and then a good twatting with a chisel and hammer should see it fall off. B)

Treat your stub axle to a bit of rubbing :ph34r: with some fine emery cloth, or if it's completely knackered, stick a new one on.

Hope this helps.

Dan :)

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is there room for a dremel cutting disc to get in there? (OT vheap dremels were being sold at biolling for £ 5 !!!). If the brearing carrier is case heardened, then it maybe possible to use a chisel on it once you have gone through that. Wear eye protection as it may fly when stplig.

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Dan........ it's the inner race of the OUTER bearing thats stuck, not the INNER bearing, so I'd have to drive the outer race out of the hub (backwards) to get it past the inner one(!) - not sure if that makes sense with all those inner and outers!! :blink:

I've done plenty of wheel bearings before and only had an inner bearing do this before, which was easier, as you can get the hub off and grind/cut the stuck race off the stub axle, but as the hub won't come off at the mo, I can't get to the stuck race :(

A couple of good sharp tugs on the hub should dislodge the oil seal in the back of the hub. The bearing is bigger than the seal, thats why the hub appears to be stuck.

Once you have the hub off you will be able to get at the bearing with a grinder. Flatten it off as much as you can and as close as you can to the stub axle (without touching the stub axle!!!) and then a good twatting with a chisel and hammer should see it fall off. B)

Treat your stub axle to a bit of rubbing :ph34r: with some fine emery cloth, or if it's completely knackered, stick a new one on.

Hope this helps.

Dan :)

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Hmmmmm...... hadn't thought of that - I'll have a look tonight - if I can at least cut a notch in the edge of the race, it might be enough for me to crack/shatter it with a chisel and big 'ammer

Thanks

Dunk

is there room for a dremel cutting disc to get in there? (OT vheap dremels were being sold at biolling for £ 5 !!!). If the brearing carrier is case heardened, then it maybe possible to use a chisel on it once you have gone through that. Wear eye protection as it may fly when stplig.
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Dan........ it's the inner race of the OUTER bearing thats stuck, not the INNER bearing, so I'd have to drive the outer race out of the hub (backwards) to get it past the inner one(!) - not sure if that makes sense with all those inner and outers!! :blink:

I've done plenty of wheel bearings before and only had an inner bearing do this before, which was easier, as you can get the hub off and grind/cut the stuck race off the stub axle, but as the hub won't come off at the mo, I can't get to the stuck race :(

Ahhh... gotcha! sorry, my post was completely unhelpful then :lol::rolleyes:

Hmmm... Seems to me you have reached the pinicle of wheel bearing buggered-ness! Good luck!

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If you have a welder, you could try welding a big hot bead onto the stuck race. This will get a lot of heat onto the race very quickly, and may free it up enough for the puller to do its job. I have never tried this method for this particular job, but it is probably worth it as a last resort.

Make sure you cover the stub axle threads to avoid splatter.

Regards,

Diff

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Turbocharger...... I tried rotating it with the chisel (thats how I blunted it) but got nowhere - haven't tried knocking it inwards, though - might help me get rid of some of my pent-up rage at the very least!!! <_<

Diff...... good thinking - I used a similar technique on a siezed SIII transfer-box filler plug...... the head had been mushed trying to undo it (it's a taper thread & had been overtightened), so I welded a new bolt head to the plug, only to find that the heat from welding had made it almost finger-tight and it came out easily!!! Probably worked so well cos the plug was steel, but the casing was ally - something to do with different rates of expansion....... anyway, I'll give that a go with the stick welder, rather that the MIG as it produces more heat, and I can wind the amps up further for better penetration which is always a good thing :D

If you have a welder, you could try welding a big hot bead onto the stuck race. This will get a lot of heat onto the race very quickly, and may free it up enough for the puller to do its job. I have never tried this method for this particular job, but it is probably worth it as a last resort.

Make sure you cover the stub axle threads to avoid splatter.

Regards,

Diff

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I had this problem once on a series motor - after messing around trying to get it off for a couple of hours and getting nowhere - I cut straight through the whole lot with a 9-inch disc cutter.

Bearing steel is very hard as you no doubt know, so chisels, and normal drill bits are not going to do anything. A titanium bit might do it, but the inner race is going to be friction welded to the stub axle. You could be drilling all day and still not manage to free it. There's a likelyhood that as the tip of the drill bit gets near to the centre - the thinner wall may deflect the bit and snap it. It looks like new hub, stub axle, and wheel bearing I'm afraid :( Maybe a hub and stub from a breakers?

Les. :)

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Les..... I'm not QUITE ready to quit yet, but just in case plans 'B', 'C' and 'D' fail....... where did you cut? did you cut straight through the shaft on the CV joint as well?

Anyone know of any decent LR breakers in the Pboro/Cambs area???

Dunk

I had this problem once on a series motor - after messing around trying to get it off for a couple of hours and getting nowhere - I cut straight through the whole lot with a 9-inch disc cutter.

Bearing steel is very hard as you no doubt know, so chisels, and normal drill bits are not going to do anything. A titanium bit might do it, but the inner race is going to be friction welded to the stub axle. You could be drilling all day and still not manage to free it. There's a likelyhood that as the tip of the drill bit gets near to the centre - the thinner wall may deflect the bit and snap it. It looks like new hub, stub axle, and wheel bearing I'm afraid :( Maybe a hub and stub from a breakers?

Les. :)

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Unless I was stuck out in the jungle or desert I wouldn't even try to recover the stub axle as it would have seen enough heat to seriously compromise its strength, and at any rate the inner bearing race would have spun on the stub axle ,wearing it undersize.

When you do finally put it all back together, be sure to remove the inner oil seal from the stub axle, fit a proper oil seal to the hub and let the hub be lubricated by oil from the swivel housing instead of grease as previously.

Bill.

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Dunk,

If you want to save the hub from damage, then you are going to need heat and lots of it. If you haven’t got gas gear, then a good alternative is to carefully run two or three passes of mig (160amp) around the exposed inner of the bearing and pull it off whilst its red hot. If you allow it to cool it will get tighter due to shrinkage. If you can get a deepish cut with a dremel then the you can use the cooling shrinkage from the mig to crack it.

Best of luck

Ian

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Thanks Ian...... I think I'm gonna give the welder a go..... with my luck, I'll probably end up welding the bearing, stub axle and CV shaft together!!!! :D

Thanks to all who've offered advice - keep them coming if you've got any other voodoo I can try!!!

I'm going to have a crack at it on tuesday night as the wife's off on a 3-day residential course, so no earache ;)

I'll let you know how it goes. Is there a smiley with fingers-crossed???? :lol:

Dunk,

If you want to save the hub from damage, then you are going to need heat and lots of it. If you haven’t got gas gear, then a good alternative is to carefully run two or three passes of mig (160amp) around the exposed inner of the bearing and pull it off whilst its red hot. If you allow it to cool it will get tighter due to shrinkage. If you can get a deepish cut with a dremel then the you can use the cooling shrinkage from the mig to crack it.

Best of luck

Ian

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Just to let you know this happened to me on my 110. I had the wheel bearing replaced and was told the stub axel was not that good. The new bearing lasted one day of green laning. So I am looking for another axel as the swivel houseing need doing before long as well.

Paul

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Can you put it back together and drive?

I have several friends and myself who have had rear bearings go. The person who drove 1 mile after event resorted to angle grinder through whole disc/hub/stub to get it off. Obviously not ideal and then a lot more parts need relacing.

Myself and JST have both had bearings go but we ended up driving on them for 30/60 miles. They obviously got so trashed, they disintegrated on removal and then we just either cleaned the stub up or replaced stub and new bearings. Obviously rear is a little easier and obviously you want to be careful driving on dodgy bearing but it might work.

Hope you get it sorted.

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Can I just add to the arguements for welding a bead around the race. This is common practice in agricultural engineering where changing bearings is common and usually involves seizures to shafts. The other method involves a BIG chisel and a BF Hammer but demands some skill and not a little nerve. I can never seem to do it while my brother had whap em off like nothing.

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Undo the seal retainer bolts and swivel pins. The whole assembly should come off the driveshaft. You can then sit indoors and do it on the coffee table while watching Eastenders. :D

I have a quid that says you cut it to bits with an agle grinder! :)

Les. :D

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Les..... you must be a telepath or something - anyone who knows me will tell you I have a special relationship with my angle-grinder..... it's usually the first tool I go for when the 'proper' one fails!!! :D

Undo the seal retainer bolts and swivel pins. The whole assembly should come off the driveshaft. You can then sit indoors and do it on the coffee table while watching Eastenders. :D

I have a quid that says you cut it to bits with an agle grinder! :)

Les. :D

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Dan & James........ after the brown-trouser moment at 70mph there's NO WAY I'm driving it till it's all fixed!!!..... saying that, I did drive a 90 for a few days after a bearing went, wondering 'what's that screeching noise?' when I finally took the hub apart the bearing rollers fell out all over the place - D'oh!

Dan - cant beleive you said that! i was going to add that i had heard driving on kanckered bearings until they completely fell apart was supposed to work!
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swivel pin top and bottom, or chalice bolts followed by the swivel pin will enable you to get the drive shaft and CV out of the way.

you will also have all the bits that will be scrap or you can save in an 'easy' to manage lump which you can attack in a vice.

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